Alexandre Herchcovitch is nothing if not industrious—he designs seven lines (exclusive of licensing) in his native Brazil. This season, he defected from the Paris schedule to show his men's and women's lines in New York. "Children walking through a geometric garden," was the theme of the women's collection. He started the mood by building a big, circular maze of flowers on his runway—a lovely setting with a double meaning, given his September 11 show date. "I am giving to New York big, big flowers—especially today," the designer said. The models, their faces obscured with crisscrossed braids, navigated the runway like twirling dancers in a jewelry box.

To his credit, Herchcovitch's clothes held their own in this theatrical setting. He chose a kaleidoscopic palette, and mixed prints and patterns, creating ensembles with strong separates. The show opened with a romper and ran to a lovely stamped-rubber swing dress, worn by fellow Brazilian Cintia Dicker. More-accessible options were the many swing tops in patterned and pieced silks, and colorful Empire dresses with a small flounce in the back. In the past, Herchcovitch's execution has sometimes been heavy-handed; with this spring show, he achieved a pleasing (and fragrant) balance between the two.